A Look at Social Media From a Whole New Light

A lot has happened on social media this semester, some good and some not so good.  Between the Harlem Shake, Superbowl, equal marriage rights movement, April fools, and the marathon Monday bombings, there was always something to talk about. 

From each event we were able to analyze what was being done right on social media, what could have been done better, what companies showed their strength, and which companies fell short.

Harlem Shake:

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We all remember the Harlem Shake video that went viral earlier this semester.  It all started with one, 30 second YouTube video made by a couple Australians.  This video was able to generate over 25 million views.  Over 50,000 spinoffs have been uploaded to YouTube since the launch of the original.  Soldiers, newscasters, corporate office workers, and even some swimmers underwater were just a few of the people who created spinoffs.  The video was gone almost as fast as it had appeared.

With the hype only lasting about two weeks and so many people uploading spinoffs, it was hard to make your video stand out.   It was also hard to escape the videos too. Twitter, Facebook, reddit, tumblr are just some of the social media sites you could go to, to see post after post of a new Harlem Shake video.  This was a great, fun, and easy way to get your company out there and really just have fun with it.

Superbowl:

It’s safe to say that Oreo stole the show with its real time tweet “you can still dunk in the dark” during the blackout in the middle of the Superbowl.

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The fact that Oreo was able to react that quickly to a situation that no one could have predicted was amazing.  When the blackout happened people freaked out and companies worried that the time slot they had paid millions for, was all a waste.  Not for Oreo though.  Oreo saw this opportunity and ran with it.  By coming out with this ad they were able to make ‘light’ of the situation, humanize their company, and was able to get people talking about Oreos for days.

There were many copycats of Oreo’s real time ad, especially the following Sunday during the Oscars.  Many people tried to do what Oreo did and humanize their company, but no one was as nearly successful as Oreo was.  Way to go Oreo!

Equal marriage rights movement:

ImageThe equal marriage rights movement was a time that America came together to voice their opinion on same sex marriage through social media.  At the beginning of Easter break I began to notice all of my friends slowly changing their Facebook photo to a pink equals sign incased in a red box pictured to the right.

Without even physically saying anything people voiced their opinion and stood up for equal rights.  This movement spread like wildfire and before I knew it the pink equals sign incased in a red box was showing up everywhere.

This small action made a huge impact and it just goes to show how powerful social media can really be.  If there is a worthy enough cause and it’s something a lot of people believe in and want to voice their opinion on, then bring it to social media and see the reaction and get a response.  Many people have used this technique to help raise money for a cause and even get a pet dog!

April fools:

April fools was a great time to see people sniff their computer, twt wtht vwls (tweet without vowels), and get upset over the fact that scope bacon mouthwash wasn’t a real thing.  This was a great opportunity for companies to mess around with their customers and have a little laugh.  It is nice to see companies poking fun at their customers.

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April fools is a perfect time for people to humanizing their company.  It’s April fools, everyone knows it’s a joke (or at least eventually figures it out after making a fool of themselves), and it becomes a lot easier to connect with companies.  It is also a great time for companies to have a friendly competition with each other to see who can out fool more people.

The Marathon bombing:

ImageTwitter, Facebook, Reddit, and tumblr, along with many of the other social media sites are in no means a replacement for watching the news or reading the newspaper.  They can however help or hinder a huge event such as the marathon bombing.

When an event happens and phone lines are down, the newscasters can’t get their story straight, and no one knows what’s going on, people tend to turn to social media.  In the first hour of the event social media couldn’t have been more helpful.  Facebook and Twitter helped many people figure out if their friends and loved ones were safe and sound.  The hours preceding the first were followed by rumor after rumor after rumor.  It was hard to tell if anything people were saying was true anymore.

As the week ended social media calmed down a bit, only to blow back up on Thursday night just a few hours after the suspects photos were released to the public.  Many people waited in front of their TV screens and/or behind their computer screens to see what was happening.  People were tweeting about what they saw on the news or thought they saw and the news was mentioning what they thought to have been true based on tweets they read.  

It was hard getting the right information, but in the end the people who were watching the news and people who were watching social media found out that the second suspect was in custody at relatively the same time. 

 

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It may be a long time before people figure out all the potential uses for social media, but we are definitely getting there.  This class has allowed me to look at social media from a whole new light.  I have more respect for certain social media platforms and I now believe that when used correctly social media can be a great tool for a company, its customers, and the general population.  

 

3 comments

  1. These are some great examples of big stories that came up in class where social media had a huge role. I loved how we could talk endlessly in class about them too. There’s a lot more to these events than what may seem. I think it’s crazy how unpredictable social media is and you never know what will be next to go viral. I’m sure everyone from class will be looking at the next big thing on social media with a different perspective though.

  2. Social media has changed the way we will forever view events. I know personally, when I now see breaking news, I will turn to social media rather than TV. I also know that when I look for news, I will most likely turn to twitter. It is amazing to see how technologically prone we have all become within the past few months. I know I will continue to use social media in so many different ways moving forward. Great examples!

  3. Wow, great overview of everything that has happened this semester! Pretty crazy reading over it all again, it’s been a wild ride for social media this semester. I feel like each of these events actually changed social media ever so slightly, with new ideas and reactions coming to life – we were all learning together. Very cool to realize.

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